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 Aboriginal history of the Coffs Harbour region 

Unidentified Aboriginal men at Hearns Lake, Woolgoolga (1870s?)

 

 

The traditional owners of the Coffs Harbour region are the Gumbaynggirr people, who have occupied this land for thousands of years, forming one of the largest coastal Aboriginal Nations in New South Wales. Their Nation stretches from the Nambucca River in the south to around the Clarence River in the north and to the Great Dividing Range in the west.

 

Their history is a long and fascinating one, which is remembered by the people and imprinted on the very land itself. For further information regarding the Aboriginal history of our region, please click on the links below.

 

  • Aboriginal history of the Coffs Harbour region [PDF document]
  • Gumbaynggirr language - a selection of Gumbaynggirr Aboriginal names for animals, plants and places.
  • Living along Coffs Creek - (NSW Office of Environment & Heritage) Coffs Creek was used as a camp during the mid twentieth century and became one of the main Aboriginal camps in Coffs Harbour.
  • Living in State Housing - (NSW Office of Environment & Heritage) Aboriginal people from the Gumbayngirr community remember being moved from fringe camps into State housing in Coffs Harbour in the 1950s, and about Aunty Grace Roberts' successful campaign to gain better housing for Aboriginal people.
  • NSW Atlas of Aboriginal Places - the map comprises a map and table of decalred Aboriginal Places in NSW.
  • Aboriginal people living and working on the NSW coast: a historical review - a research paper prepared by the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage.
  • Community portrait of the Aboriginal population of the Mid North Coast - This report uses data from the Australian Censis to paint a community profile of the Aboriginal population of the Mid North Coast as it was in August 2011, and show how it has changed over the previous decade.
  • Dawn and New Dawn magazine -

    Dawn and New Dawn were magazines published between 1952-1975 by the New South Wales Aborigines Welfare Board.The Dawn and New Dawn contain articles about the conditions and activities on reserves, stations, homes and schools throughout New South Wales, as well as providing details of births, deaths, marriages and baptisms. During its time of publication the magazines were also used to highlight the work of the Aboriginal Welfare Board.

  • Aboriginal scarred trees - This document provides information on the identification and recording of Aboriginal scarred trees in NSW.
  • Arrawarra sharing culture - Arrawarra Headland is a site of significance for Aboriginal people. Arrawarra: Sharing Culture is an educational project with a number of key objectives. First and foremost, the project seeks to summarise knowledge about traditional harvesting, and related activities, as part of the process of educating future generations of Gumbaynggirr people. Secondly, the project provides an ideal opportunity to educate the wider community about the rich traditional and cultural knowledge held by Garby Elders.
Coffs Harbour City Council